ENCR8610 (Schedule # 19063)
University of Virginia
Fall 2009
MW 3:30-4:45pm :: 2007 McLeod Hall
Mr. David Golumbia
Office: 449 New Cabell Hall
Fall 2009 Office Hours: MW 12:30-1:45pm

Literary and Critical Theory

This course provides an introductory survey of issues and topics in contemporary literary and critical theory, with particular attention paid to topics that are of current interest to literary scholars. Topics to be covered include structuralism, poststructuralism, feminism, gender studies, queer theory, critical race theory, postcolonialism, cultural studies, and historicism, among others. We will read texts by writers including some or all of Derrida, Spivak, Butler, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Spillers, Hardt and Negri, Jameson, Said, and Zizek, among others. Students will prepare discussion questions ahead of time, and write two short papers (one using literature and one on a theoreitcal work not on the syllabus but related to it), and write a final paper that deploys theoretical material in the service of interpreting literary and/or cultural texts of the student's choice. This course assumes some (but not extensive) familiarity with the terms and concerns of critical theory, such as taking an undergraduate course in theory or another graduate course of which theory was an important part.

Texts in Collab

Assignments and Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on written exercises and course participation as follows:


Week-by-Week Syllabus

Week 1. Introduction

Week 2. The Subject

Week 3. Questioning Texts

Week 4. Subjects and Texts

Week 5. Texts in History

Week 6. Subjects in/and Culture

Week 7. Reading Period

Week 8. Rereading for the Subject

Week 9. Empires

Week 10. Geneaology and Biopolitics

Week 11. Schizoanalysis

Week 12. Postmodernity

Week 13. Rogues

Week 14. Thanksgiving

Week 15. Virtuosity and the Virtual

Week 16. Final Class

Final paper due in my English Dept mailbox (Faculty Lounge, 2nd floor, Bryan Hall) by the end of exam period for the course: 5pm, Tues Dec 15. There is no final exam for the course.

Last updated October 19, 2009.